McDonald's Is Desperate To Change Its Image

McDonald’s is trying to woo millennials with philanthropy. 

In the face of declining sales and traffic, the company is asking ad agencies to help it come up with a “big idea” involving a charity that would excite people in their 20s and 30s, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The “big idea” would generate “significant support for a charity” and “engage Millennials to support this charity by speaking directly to their philanthropic priorities and leveraging their behaviours and habits,” according to RFP documents reviewed by the Journal.

Millennials are more passionate about philanthropy than previous generations and they are interested in the stories behind the brands that they buy, according to various studies.

The company’s efforts come as young diners have been increasingly favouring fast casual restaurant chains, such as Chipotle, over traditional fast food outlets like McDonald’s. 

The number of 19-to-21-year-olds visiting McDonald’s once a month has fallen by 13% since 2011, according to food analysts Technomic cited by The Guardian. Meanwhile, the number of 22-to-37-year-olds visiting has stagnated over the same time period.

McDonald’s recently reported a global same-store sales drop of 2.2% for the month of November, compared to the same period last year. For the third quarter ending Sept. 30, global same-store-sales fell 3.3%.

As part of its turnaround plan, the company is also cutting menu items to speed up service and hastening its rollout of build-your-own-burger stations, which allow customers to customise orders using self-service kiosks. 

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